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Ensuring Native and European Bees Thrive with the Perfect Mix of Native and Exotic Plants in Townsville gardens.

Posted on May 12, 2023

To ensure that both native and European bees are well-fed and happy in your Townsville garden, it’s essential to provide a diverse range of plants that offer pollen and nectar throughout the year. A mix of native and exotic plants can help achieve this goal, as it caters to the preferences and needs of various bee species. Here are some tips for creating a bee-friendly garden:

1. Plant Diversity: Include a variety of plants with different flower shapes, sizes, and colours to attract a diverse range of bees. Native bees often, but not always, prefer native plants, while European honeybees may be more attracted to exotic species, in some cases. Mixing both types of plants can ensure that both native and European bees find suitable food sources.

Image showing a native blue banded bee
Blue Banded Bee. Source

2. Continuous Blooming: Plant species that bloom at different times throughout the year to provide a continuous food supply for bees. This approach ensures that bees have access to nectar and pollen in every season.

3. Clustering: Plant flowers of the same species in clusters, as bees are more likely to visit larger groups of the same flower. This arrangement makes it easier for bees to forage efficiently.

4. Avoid Pesticides and be soil health aware: Refrain from using pesticides, where possible, or choose organic alternatives, as chemicals can be harmful to bees and other pollinators. This is important for soil health and the Microbiome that supports the plants.

5. Provide Water: Bees need water to survive, just like any other living creature. Provide a shallow water source with rocks or pebbles for bees to land on and drink safely, without attracting Mozzies.

6. Create Habitat: Provide nesting and shelter opportunities for bees by leaving areas of bare soil, installing bee hotels, or maintaining a variety of natural habitats like logs, rocks, and native vegetation.

Native Bee Hotel
Native Bee Hotel. Townsville and District Bee keepers Association

In summary, a combination of native and exotic plants can provide a diverse and delicious buffet for both native and European bees in Australia. By following these guidelines, you can create a bee-friendly garden that supports the health and happiness of these vital pollinators.

For some inspiration for your garden make sure you check out the Ecosophy Garden in the heart of Townsville City.  Project Plants Trade Centre is a proud partner with Townsville City Council in working together to support the community to do “Three for Bees” – plant bee-friendly plants, be soil health aware, and install your backyard bee hotel.

Want to know what plants were used in the Ecosophy Garden? Download the document by clicking HERE.

Be sure to check out Research conducted by the Western Sydney University.

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